Part 3: Video 2
You see, the joke is theyre snakes and I ate them for breakfast. I am both clever and topical.
Also, Saber level up! We can now perform a double slash.
This is our first weapon level up, and lets Zero do a one-two strike while standing still. Because of the way combat works in this game (it involves something called combo values, Im not gonna get in-depth because its kinda boring), certain attacks bypass invincibility frames when performed in sequence. This is one of them; if we use this bad boy on a boss, theyll take the full damage of both strikes, which at base stats is 4+4=8. Super-sexy.
100 pt. requirements:
-Clear time: 4:00
-Enemies killed: 37
Hard mode actually alters something here, seeing as you cant just combo slash the midboss to death before he does anything. Also, Hyleg can kill you in literally two hits of his claw. Hard mode is hard, guys!
(I didnt actually know you could wall jump up the midbosss platform until now. Learn something new every day.)
The forest of Dysis (west forest) is the first area well be honoring with our presence. Its not a forest as we know it, though; every bit of greenery is artificially made and spread, from the trees down to the grass. The rationale for this is that the crash of what remained of the Eurasia space colony in Mega Man X5 decimated the ecosystem, so humans turned to bio-mechanical replacements. Presumably they work as air purifiers or some other such useful and necessary function. Not sure what use explosive bees would be, though
Also, the forest is apparently situated next to a large body of water. Gaze into that serene orange abyss and watch your worries melt away. Incidentally the music for this stage is called Sand triangle, despite it having nothing to do with sand or triangles. Forest, beach or desert Decide on one, IC!
This is one of four stages that you can choose to play right off the bat, but its the one that your cursor defaults to when selecting missions. Theres a reason for that; its really obviously designed with the chain rod in mind, to get new players acquainted with the new weapons functions and versatility. While I give Inti Creates credit for this, they didnt pull it off without any kinks. The addition of Pantheon hammers (which highly resemble the sniper Joes of old, btw) help to teach players that they can pull enemies around, and the blocks common within the ruins of Dysis teach how to manipulate the environment, but as for the grappling mechanic, well
This is what they give you. Do you know what that is? Because I sure as hell dont.
See, with the blocks, youre given something to practice on right off the bat, seeing as Cerveaus lab has one convieniently placed right smack in the middle of it. But with this, it just looks like some kind of bizarre enemy chillin in the air. Not only that, but its way too narrow; for first-time players, successfully grappling this instead of falling to your death is no mean feat. Once you figure out thats what youre supposed to do, that is. To be fair, though, IC is still super smart, and gives you this:
A grapple target to practice on, before the actual challenge! How gracious.
Theres just one problem with it:
yeah. See, you can extend and retract the chain by pressing down and up, but the game never tells you this. Furthermore, pretty much all stage traversal so far in the series has relied on the left-right buttons; the down button is barely, if ever, used. What this means is that the grapples over bottomless pits in this stage are super unintuitive and will more than likely result in many a cheap death for new players as they try in vain to get a *perfect* grapple that will manage to bridge the gap. Not fun at all.
Other than that though its pretty well designed. Theres a good few secrets (some of which well have to come back for) as well as shortcuts for the keen-eyed player to use. The stage is probably the best place to farm e-crystals too, seeing as they regenerate each time you reenter the stage and theres a bunch hidden both in the trees and in the secret area behind the midboss.
The power form is your reward for pulling 30 things with the chain rod within a single stage. Given that this stage is chainrodapalooza, its the ideal first form to obtain.
The power forms on par with the Proto form when it comes to sheer destructive power, and comes without the grave setback of being made of wet cabbage. Its slightly slower than your normal red-hued self, but in all honestly the speed decrease is not nearly as noticeable as youd think; you have to really be looking for it to tell a difference. This would probably be the go-to form because of this, if it werent for one thing: this form steals combo slashes from you. Rather than doing our new one-two slash, were given a slow slash that arcs over our whole body and has a pretty substantial recovery time. While it has its uses, even with the damage boost it doesnt do as much damage as a combo would and just doesnt feel as smooth, so I tend to prefer basic Zero over this. That deep purples pretty snazzy though.
The first EX skill of the game warrants a new subsection. Unlike the last game, you can obtain certain skills from bosses, much like Megaman games of old. Unlike those, though, these are a prize given only to the best of the best: You need an A or S rank to get the skill, which means no lower than 86pts. This makes the barrier for entry nonsensically high, but its better than nothing. You can select whether to have them active or not in the EX skill sub menu.
Our first EX skill is one we cant actually use yet. Woe to us.
The laser shot replaces your level 3 charged buster shot when active, turning it from a wide energy blast into a narrow laser. Thisd be all well and good if it werent for the fact that the buster has piercing damage anyway, so the big appeal of lasers is lost. Its still capable of penetrating enemy defenses, like the rotating cacti in the intro stage or the pantheon hammers shield, but it doesnt do enough damage to one-shot them so its often more convenient to take them out in an alternate fashion. If youre a deadeye with the buster, it could be better than the default I suppose, but theres really only one specific section in the game where Id recommend switching to this; the size decrease is just too extreme. Also, you can only use it when you have no elemental chips active, so thats another strike against it.
Returning from the X series, subtanks let you store unneeded energy (up to a certain point) for later use. Given the lack of heart tanks or other non-elf health upgrades, this provides a much-needed boost to Zeros abysmal health capacity.
In the last game, you could only gain them by using one of four cyber-elves that required more than a thousand e-crystals to raise (for reference, after two full stages we now have 200), which made them extremely costly. Here, though, the game shows some leniency; while the cyber-elves are still present (only two this time), youre able to obtain sub tanks in select hidden areas, much like how they worked in the X series. The two varieties, stage and elf, also have two different designs (the other ones redder), so you can quickly differentiate the two. This is just another of the many ways this game improved upon the last; its really quite amazing.
- Spiked Jaw: Extends jaw out all the way at the beginning of fight. Said jaw has insta-death spikes. Dont fall.
- Eye shot: Eye turns violet, then shoots out a reflective purple beam which bounces around room.
- Bubble shot: Shoots a purple bubble from underneath him. Bounces towards you and explodes. Destructable.
- Waterfall: Fills the room with water from his ears? Alters the trajectory of his bubbles, alters jump mechanics.
His eyes his main weak point, and it goes down to a measly four saber slashes, or two combos. If you want to play it safe you can always just stay on the starting platform and shoot him, but you can also live DANGEROUSLY and walljump up his nose without pulling it out. Take your pick.
Hyleg Ourobockle + Altoloid
- Slither snake: Altoloid will undulate up and down, making navigation tricky. Stay on your toes.
- Jumping viper: When Zero is a certain distance away from Hyleg, hell make a mighty leap towards your location and attempt to do contact damage. Move to avoid.
- Constrict: Sends arms into one of Altoloids segments, which then appear on the segment you were last standing on. If contact is made, wraps Zero and does continuous damage until he struggles free.
- Snake strike: Waves arms around a bit, then performs a vicious strike with his claws. Long range.
- Snake slither: After performing 6 moves, Hyleg compresses into a traditional snake form and slithers towards you. Jumps to opposite end of Altoloid afterwards, immediately followed by
- Snake steps: Altoloid changes forms into a staircase-like shape. Will attempt to make it so Zero is on the lower end.
- EX skill: Joint laser: Jewels on Altoloid charge, then shoot lasers. Every other one will fire, followed by the unfired ones. Head does not fire laser.
slinky?: Hyleg throws a slinky down Altoloid. Will damage, but is destructible.
- Snake square: Altoloid arranges itself into a square, consisting of four groups of two segments. Hyleg stands on top of the highest. Followed immediately by
- Snake shock: Altoloids segments glow purple in a rapid-fire sequence. The first will then light up with electricity, followed by the second, and so on. Keep track and move.
Anyway, hes a member of the Zanei army (which Ill get more into later) and was under the command of one of Neo Arcadias four guardians, Phantom. Phantoms gone now, but his protégés are still kickin. The members of his squad specialize in speed, stealth, and deception, and Hyleg fits cleanly into that first category. He and his pet snake mechaniloid, Altoloid, move all over the place and attack with swift, decisive blows that can be super hard to dodge. Thankfully, the fight is heavily scripted to make it easier on players; theyll always start by alternating between jumps, constricts, and snake strikes, followed by Altoloid altering its shape twice before reverting back to slither snake and repeating the pattern over again. Its certainly a challenge, but because of the predictability, its possible to memorize his pattern for a clean victory. Furthermore, you can fill up the Sub tank the stage so graciously gives you beforehand to improve your chances of victory.
Probably the greatest danger in the fight is Altoloids snake square move; when rearranging, he presses the blocks against each other, which can and will knock you off, and if youre not expecting it youll fall to your doom. This pairs a good wake-up call to the general difficulty of the games bosses.
X as he appears in this series. His identity was initially unknown, appearing at first on a computer monitor and providing Zero with his trusty Z-saber in a moment of need. He later reappeared and gave the resistance codes needed to access Neo Arcadias innermost sanctums and termite Copy X. He only revealed his form in the last games epilogue, showing he had somehow become a cyber-elf himself, though he was able to take the form of a blurry, regally-dressed image of his past self.
He likes to warp in, be infuriatingly cryptic, make reference to the fact that Zero needs to do what X cannot, then leave. Most recently, hes made mentioned something called a Mother elf that he supposedly sealed, as well as referring to the two elves now held within Ciels lab as baby elves, which desire to be reunited with their mother. Nothing else, though, because being helpful isnt the role of the Wise Man archetype hes fulfilling.
Reasonable quantities of music this time. While sand triangle (seriously, whats with that name?) is pretty okay, its not *mindblowing*.
As for the boss music, eh. Its alright, I guess; Im not a huge fan. I honestly prefer Crash, though not by much.